Have You Hugged Your Pest Professional Today?

Monday, April 2, 2012

April is National Pest Management Month

For more than 30 years, April has been celebrated as National Pest Management Month, recognizing the professional pest management industry for its role in protecting public health and property from significant pest threats.

"Many people may not realize the important job pest professionals perform every day. Whether it's salvaging a termite ravaged home, giving someone back the ability to sleep after eliminating a bed bug infestation or ensuring food warehouses and restaurants are free of disease-carrying pests, we are grateful for all that these men and women do every day," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

The NPMA is also encouraging people to brush up on common household pests including termites, ants, spiders and bed bugs this month.

Termites: Termites feed on the cellulose found in wood and paper products and cause more than $5 billion in property damage every year. With termite season upon us, homeowners should be on the lookout for swarmers (winged termites), which serve as a warning that a colony may have already settled inside.

Ants: Ants are the number one nuisance pest in the U.S. and are among the most difficult to control. According to a new NPMA survey of pest professionals, spring and summer are the busiest seasons for ant-related service calls. Ant infestations are most common in office buildings, restaurants, apartments and condos and single-family homes.

Spiders: While spiders tend to elicit fear in many people, only a few pose serious health threats to humans. For example, both the brown recluse and black widow spiders can cause painful bites that are especially dangerous for children and the elderly, sometimes causing gaping wounds and fatal reactions.

Bed Bugs: Bed bugs continue to plague Americans as they infest hotels, schools college dorms, residences and other places where people gather. A 2011 survey, conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky found that 99 percent of pest professionals had encountered bed bugs in the past year; a number that has steadily risen over a 10-year period. 

In an effort to encourage public education about this resilient pest, NPMA is launching "Bed Bug Awareness Week," April 22 - 28, as a part of National Pest Management Month to spread awareness, promote public vigilance and provide essential prevention advice.

"With summer travel around the corner, NPMA is reminding travelers to be vigilant wherever they go and to be mindful about bed bugs' hitchhiking nature.  A few simple prevention tips can go a long way in saving travelers from an infestation when they return home," noted Henriksen.

For more information on National Pest Management Month, Bed Bug Awareness Week or for information on common household pests, please visit Pestworld.org.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.

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